Why Massage Hurts So Good - Part 2

Hi Denver. So, if you read our most recent blog about massage, you either reinforced the fact that massage hurts so good, or, you learned for the first time that massage can ‘hurt so good’, and are currently looking in the phone book (or, um, well, I guess looking on the internet, nowadays) for a number for your local Massage Therapist so you can find out just what everyone is talking about. “Hurts so good?” you might be asking yourself. “I don’t know about that….I really don’t like pain. I do whatever I can to avoid pain. When I had my baby, I made sure I was going to get the pain drugs weeks and weeks in advance, just to avoid any possibility of pain. Why would I pay money to experience pain?”
Well, Denver, I am here to tell you that not all pain is bad, or undesirable. It can actually be quite enjoyable, and, I don’t mean in some weird and twisted way- we’ve all had the experience of someone rubbing our shoulders- even if you’ve never had a professional massage- and you say to them ‘You can just DIG IN, just GO FOR IT! Don’t be shy!”  And this is because you know that that temporary pain is just a precursor for soon-to-be relief, and relaxation, right? You may not have learned it in massage school or been reading medical books about the reasoning why, but, you just KNOW, because, well, you’ve EXPERIENCED IT!!
Do you want to know WHY, Denver? Why this initial pain is followed by relief? There is a very amazing and detailed scientific/biological explanation, and it includes words like “muscle spindle cells,”  “Golgi Tendon Organs” and “mechanically-gated ion channels.”  You MIGHT be interested in reading about that, but, maybe for now I’ll just give you the simple version: When your Massage Therapist puts a certain kind of (often painful) pressure on your muscles in certain important spots, your muscle struggles for a few seconds, and then, it just lets go. Yup- let’s go, and relaxes. Pretty amazing, right?!? Stay tuned for our next blog about massage and pain and Why. It. Hurts. So. Good.
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